Hello all and my apologies for such a long hiatus. If you have read About the Rabidwhole, than you can see that my life’s work, as it is for all I hope, is to set myself up to be able to live independent of The Clock, the Rat-race, a J.O.B – (which BTW on Wall Street means: Just Over Broke,) – but whatever euphemism you have for working day after day to the toot of someone else’s horn, that is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. There have been some nice developments in many areas which I am extremely thankful for, and just like a garden or even a newborn baby, Inspired Thought must be cultivated, nurtured, and most importantly actively engaged.
Along those same lines, while people are still losing their jobs as the Financial Earthquake continues to send aftershocks through different industries and markets throughout the world, more and more people are in position to actually look at themselves and see past their own résumés. More and more people are putting those Arts degrees to better use in their communities or at home and on the internet, than they were in the Customer Service Department, or in the stockroom, or at the front desk. More and more people are remembering forgotten skills, likes, and hobbies from their childhood or teenage years. Indeed, getting fired from your j.o.b. is quite liberating.
First of all, no matter what job you have, if you’re working for an hourly wage, the only way you make more money is to give up more hours, more time, more of Your Life to your company. All the while, that time that you are giving up allows your “bosses” to keep more and more of their time, do more and more with their lives, while you put more and more money straight into their pockets. This leads to the type of situation you see all the time, where you are working for someone whom you feel is an absolute and utter moron, and you are flabbergasted at how this company even stays in business with someone like this on the payroll, let alone in a managerial or even executive position. Well, he doesn’t have to be smart; he just needs to be smart enough to hire YOU. You’re a hard worker, he’s a lazy ass. You anticipate problems and solutions, he creates them. So, it only makes sense that the more you are there – working, slaving to The Clock trying to make your money – the less he’s there fucking shit up, and the more the business thrives. What does he get? A boatload of money (maybe even a boat.) What do you get? Time and a half…maybe a raise after 5 or 6 years, or even worse, you get overlooked for that raise…and stay in the same position. Not feelin’ it.
I say all this to say, that I know there is a mass of individuals out there that think just like this, that have presumably been recently alleviated of the aforementioned burden in the form of a pink slip. And even with all the complaining, it can be a bit daunting being unemployed for the first time in a long time. So, as someone with more than a few gaps in my own résumé, as well as someone who is independent/business-minded, here’s my 2 cents regarding what to do with that newly acquired time.
Newly Acquired Life is how that time should be perceived. Ever go to the park during your “lunch break” and see people there seemingly with no care in the world, and no job, so you wonder how they make money, or if they don’t, how the hell can they be so care free in the park at 2 in the afternoon on a Wednesday? Now you can be one of those people, and let me tell you, it feels great. FYI, right after you don’t have a j.o.b. anymore is of course the best time to take this “carefree” time in the park or walking around your neighborhood, whatever you choose to do. Theoretically, you will have some savings to be able to hold you over without a job for at least a little while, before bills and creditors, make you anxious about receiving income, so you can just enjoy the relaxing feeling of freedom.
You Don’t Need A J.O.B to create income. Living in NYC, every year there’s some article in the Post or in the Daily News about some panhandler on the trains that makes $100,000 a year asking people for change. I’m not saying go out and be a bum for a living, I’m simply saying that your own innovation and creativity can bring you more money than a traditional job working for someone else, even if it’s in a great industry. I know a lot of people in the IT industry – web programmers and developers, systems architects and engineers, even just kids that have always messed with electronics taking things apart and putting it back together – that were working for great companies and organizations, making $80,$90K a year. Now they’re doing their own thing, running their own sole proprietorships making money for no one else but themselves, and loving it!
But you don’t have to be an IT guru or even work in IT either, or any other already-lucrative industry to be successful making money independently. I know people that were working in stockrooms a year ago that are now getting grants for their own artistic or community oriented programs, former cashiers that are now selling their own homemade wares, or art, or doing hair out of their apartments, or writing ebooks, that are making just as much if not more than they were when they had their previous “occupations.”
The bottom line is, there are a million and one ways to make money, and bring in income independently and be able to make a good living, spending your time and your Life the way you decide. Do you knit? do you garden and know how to grow fresh fruit and vegetables? do you paint? do you sew? can you repair electronics? do you do photography? etc., etc., etc.
Don’t Sit Still! You get stuck like that. Period.
Remember, Education Never Stops! I don’t know anyone that knows everything. There’s always something you could be learning. Current events, worldly issues, a different culture, welding, woodcutting, carpentry, sculpture, dance, Economics, accounting, book keeping; how many things can you learn that might give you a feeling of pleasure and accomplishment in some way or help you run a business?
Finally, here are 3 resources, among millions, on the internet that I think are pretty phenomenal for finding jobs, or projects if you will, that can become great sources of income, or at least help you get a job in an industry interests you more than the one from which you may have just come, or the one you are in (if you still have a job, but perhaps feel the “heat” coming.)
Etsy.com. Already a pretty popular site, but if you don’t already know, this is a site where if you make a lot of your own jewelry, clothes, blankets, artwork, anything that you can make – even pastries and other baked goods that are good to travel through the mail – you can sell it to a much larger audience on this site.
Elance.com. This website is like an online supermarket of freelance jobs. Writing jobs, art jobs, all types of IT jobs, even online secretarial jobs, (they’re called virtual secretaries and I still don’t know too much about it, but I’m certainly trying to learn more.) Ever wonder how certain ads on sites like craigslist get posted over and over and over again? It’s because someone is willing to pay you to do it. For someone like myself, with writing and artistic talent, that hasn’t been published anywhere, you can get small jobs, make some cash, and work on building your portfolio. That goes for music artists as well, as there are music jobs on the site too. How the site works seems a little complicated at first, but if you’re as serious as I am about making a living independently and making your own time, your own life, it’s certainly an option worth exploring.
Twitter.com. Now, I know a lot of people are going to be turned off to the rest of this post just for having to hear about twitter again. There’s not much left, so bear with me, but I used to be that way too…until I actually signed up. I won’t even get into the reason I signed up for twitter, but once I was in, I have to admit I was hooked, and I still am. Let’s just say you live in Alaska and you’re looking for another j.o.b. because as it happens to all of us, you need that paycheck. You can log into twitter and search “[Your city] Alaska jobs,” and voila, anyone on twitter that has posted a link to a job in Alaska (i.e., AnchrageJobAds or JobsAnchorage) comes up in your search. Not only do you now have a list of jobs in your area, but each post is time-stamped so you know when it was posted. Search the industry in which you work and your area, or the industry in which you’d like to work, and see what you get. (Just put in “Jobs” and see what you get.)
I have to point out that aside from all this job info, twitter really is an unbelievable resource for being on top of the latest information in many different arenas. If news stories like the bombings in Indonesia are breaking faster on twitter than through any other mode of receiving information, consider what else it is possible to be on top of before most other people, like a job opening, by being on twitter. That’s all I’m gonna say about it.
At the end of the day, and at the end of my Life, I don’t want to look back and see almost half of all the hours that make up my time spent on this Earth were spent lining some jerk-off’s pockets, while I stressed myself out to be “just making it,” and can only afford to leave my family and kids just over broke savings.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass